The Craig Fahle Show

State Leaders to Discuss Detroit, STEM Education at Policy Conference

Monday, May 19, 2014

Photo courtesy: The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

The Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce's Policy Conference on Mackinac Island is next week. There are many hot topics facing the state right now for policy makers and business leaders to chew over -- including transportation funding, Detroit's restructuring, and upcoming elections.

The three pillars of focus for conference attendees are entrepreneurship and innovation, impact of Detroit's reinvention, and STEM education. Sandy Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, says the conference will focus on Michigan moving into the future.

"The STEM education conversation is really nuanced," says Baruah. "The United States used to be the No. 1 leader... The challenge is we have a huge skills gap in the engineering space right here in Michigan."

Minimum wage -- the controversial topic at the state Capitol right now -- is not part of the conference agenda.

"We don't want our conference to be a continuation of whatever the conversation of the moment is," says Baruah. Baruah says it's more important that the conference be about long-term vision than the immediacy of politics.

WDET and The Craig Fahle Show will broadcast live from Mackinac Island, May 28-30.

-- Laura Weber-Davis